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Publisher's Summary

With his shaved head and begging bowl the new kid is an automatic target for the bully boys of Edward Rucher High, an easy mark for their casual cruelty.

Watching this, Justin would gladly stay as far from the newcomer as possible, until their economics teacher pairs them for a project and he finds himself becoming fascinated by the kid the others mock as "Buddha Boy". The thing is, friendship with an outcast always carries a price, and soon Justin must decide if he can stay silent in the face of what he knows.

A scorching portrait of contemporary high school life, featuring a character listeners will never forget.

©2003 Kathe Koja (P)2004 Full Cast Audio

Critic Reviews

Audie Award Winner, Audio Drama, 2005
"Koja accomplishes quite a feat...A compelling introduction to Buddhism and a credible portrait of how true friendship brings out the best in people." ( Publishers Weekly)
" Buddha Boy has a whole lot of action compressed into a short time span, but Koja admirably refuses to yield to melodramatic writing or black-and-white solutions. Quickly paced, inviting, and eye-opening, this is a marvelous addition to YA literature." ( School Library Journal)

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Ugh

The blurb for this book makes it sound like a story of ostracism in high school, but the characters are cardboard-flat. It's more of a preachy spiritual trip for the author than a story. There's no reason for the narrator to befriend the school outcast (who is a Christian-raised white boy trying to be a Buddhist monk). The narrator's friends are bratty and too obviously shallow. The school bully is a stock stereotype who does all the predictable bully things. I got about halfway through this audiobook and quit.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Marcus
  • Cape Girardeau, MO, United States
  • 03-31-14

Brilliant story performed by a great cast.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. I have actually requested this audiobook to several friends already. The main lesson within the story and how it is brought out through the telling is very well done.

What other book might you compare Buddha Boy to and why?

I don't know any other books similar to this one to compare. If anyone knows any i would like to know.

What does Spencer Murphy and the Full Cast Family bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I got a better grasp of the emotion of the characters.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

My reaction to this book is thoughtfulness about how bullying can happen and how friendship can help dull its cutting edge.

Any additional comments?

Well written and well performed.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Surprisingly engaging!

Any additional comments?

Randomly bought this for myself, but the kids caught a few minutes of it and I ended up having to start again from the beginning. About as many cuss words as they'd hear in school, so didn't sweat it too much. And it was totally worth their reactions and inspiration for discussion that followed. A great story to listen to with kids about bullying, and so well-done and well-written that I feel they really experienced the intense emotions and pondered the difficult decisions that the main character faced. Much better tool to teach the consequences of decisions than any anti-bullying pamphlet or lecture at school. The author really made us feel as uncomfortable, angry and torn as her characters -- which is the best lesson possible.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Duncan
  • 04-02-07

Memorable.

Well worth considering alongside Morton Rhue's The Wave.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful